Which are you in favor of – light or strong picks? No matter what you choose, pick matters. Whether you play with light or strong picks, each of them serves a different purpose. So there’s no right or wrong answer to the question.
Why does the choice of the pick matters? Why is it important to break the doubts? Read on and find the answers to these questions.
Generally, light picking produces a thinner, clearer tone with a loud-soft dynamic range. Having such loud-soft dynamic range is what guitarists value the most when using light picks but that’s a personal choice of course. When strumming chords, the light, clear sound of light or thin picks works great. So if you play a piece of music that has mostly strummed chords, use light picks.
On the other hand, strong or heavy pick offers warmer and mellower tone than light picks. If you prefer on the warm, full sound of heavy picks when playing melodies, strong picks might be the best choice. Strong picks can also be good when you play music that mostly consists of melodies or the known arpeggios. Guitarists who don’t want to make the pick flex or compress can control the dynamics and feel the string resistance with strong picking techniques.
What to Consider when Choosing a Pick
Picks can greatly affect your picking skills. Thus, choosing one really matters. Here are the three basic things to put in mind beforehand.
#1: Thickness (thin or thick, light or strong)
Thickness is important to consider when choosing a pick. As partly mentioned above, a thicker pick is also considered as heavy and strong pick giving you more control in playing. Thinner ones or the light picks are essential for higher gauge strings and are great for strumming chords.
The rule of the thumb here is when the thickness of your string goes up; the thickness the pick you’re using should go down. This is because when the two come in level, the string may not be capable to vibrate.
#2: Type (tip and edge)
There are different types of picks. Some of them have flat tips and the others are tapered and rounded. Picks with flat tips commonly have the same thickness as the rest of its body and feel more decisive. The ones with tapered tips provide smoother transition right from the flat of the pick to the end. Picks with a rounded tip and/or edge are great for less pronounced attack and provides the smoothest feel.
#3: Shape (triangle, rounded, teardrop etc.)
Like other things, choosing the pick’s shape is a personal choice. Let’s discuss the most common shapes here. Having the great big triangle picks can be the most useful picks as you can just turn on the other side when you break the other one. A rounded pick might be the best choice if you’re looking for a tone with dramatic impact while emphasizing other tone elements.
The teardrop shape is the most popular one. It offers a point on the end and a nice round part on the other end which can be great in hitting the strings for attack and precision.
There’s a different musical situation so you can’t prefer the sound of strong pick or a light pick of music. To lighten the load off your shoulder, we advise you to give importance on exploring different pick varieties (since picks are inexpensive) to see different sound possibilities that your guitar picks can produce.
Still in doubt? Get a backpack of picking discovery and give your play a life!